Sunday, 5 May 2013

To God be the Glory

Cycling home tonight, just a minute from Sunny Villa, I felt someone grab the strap of my shoulder-bag. Slowing down and turning to smile at the person, I assumed it was Jordan or Hanc or someone else I knew playing a trick.

"Give me your bag or I'll kill you." 
(Obviously not Jord.)
"BUGGER off!" Punch to his shoulder for emphasis (Sorry mum and Sharon for swearing!)
THWACK!!! Cue punch to face in response.
Mugger turns his bike around, saying "You're crazy!!!" And cycles off.

Having cycled the very short distance back to the Villa, and decided that I really would need ice, given that the swelling started immediately, I then went up to my room and collapsed into a puddle of tears on the anxious (to say the least) hubby. 
Painkillers taken, more ice fetched and settling down to try to sleep, several thoughts came to me.

I had in my bag the money for our visas for the next 6 months. That's the equivalent of about 4 months wages for people over here. And  if you're a teacher or a police officer- more like 8 months (if you don't include bribes). He didn't get a bit of it. But he did make me think. I had that money through the amazing support of family and friends, but what situation is he in that he would attack a girl by herself. What desperation, corruption and poverty has made mugging a way of life, or at least a viable option to him? 
And you know what else? How much is there for me to do here? For several weeks I've been struggling with our finances. We're so blessed and thankful to have the support that we do- and have been touched that it's so often the people who miss us most, and would love us to come home that give most sacrificially into what God has called us to do. But there's been very little wriggle room - coffee is a treat. So is meat. It's been a (mostly) fun challenge being 'friends with the facts' as our amazing Campus Pastor, Jan, would say, but as we've chosen to steward our money responsibly, seek work and increase finance to allow us to also be generous, God has honoured that in an amazing way even over this weekend. Going through our bank accounts, we've been blown away by the 'extras' that people have gifted to us, and the generosity of our regular supporters. God even blessed the savings we'd put aside to use wisely on our next 'tech  purchase' (ie new computer etc as our current one stumbles into OAPness), so there was more then we thought, and will enable us to invest in a moto instead. Over the space of a week  we went from not knowing how we would pay for our next visa, to having enough finance to buy a 6month one EACH, and  potentially get a moto (we'll start saving again for a computer with our next gig). So then the enemy tried his hand at discouraging me with how far I have to go as a leader, how others are doing so much better, and that I'm probably no use out here anyway. Having listened to the stonking preach by Pastor G (thank you so much Pastor!!!!), on offence and un-forgiveness twice in one day, I decided not to feel condemned but to rise up and face the challenge, to seek Godly counsel, but most of all to get before God and sort myself out. 
So what's next? A physical attack. Literally. And if the guy had got my bag he would've not only had our visa money, potentially causing us to return to the UK early,  my room key (with a really cute key ring from Jo K), he would've had my phone and the podcasts from Freedom including the one on gratitude that I was listening to as he tried to mug me.
Financial, emotional, spiritual and physical attack. You know what that adds up to? An enemy overplaying his hand, trying to send me back to the UK, crushed and useless. Who won? The God I love more than anything showing me once again that He has an amazing plan for my life, that He will bring me through all things, and that this country, my home for the next 6 months at least, needs Him a whole lot more than I've yet realised.

Enemy, back off. This is one SHE Warrior who has tasted victory mixed with suffering and is not going to back down. Jesus gets my all. 

Friday, 3 May 2013

Partner with the Parkys

Well, that's been an exciting couple of days!

Last night we played out first gig as a group - Hanc, Mr P and myself, along with our saxophonist friend Graham. We performed a mixture of pop and jazz covers for the evening at a 4/5* hotel, with people getting up to dance and lots of smiles all round! A heartening success, and a huge encouragement to pursue more gigs! The hardest gig done, with a massive pool of songs learned and practised, we're eager to perfect our selections and get out there again! What a joy to get paid for doing something you love!

The great news is that our earnings from the gig will almost cover the next 2.5 months of Visas for Phil and myself. This time we're planning on getting a 6 month Visa to give us a bit more stability and also allow us to travel to neighbouring countries if necessary without invalidating the visa and having to buy a new one! With the help of another one off gift we've received, we're getting there in raising the finance and so we're going to step out in faith and buy the 6 month Visas on Monday. At this point we would absolutely love it if you would partner with us to help us stay in Cambodia for the next 6 months if you feel led to. We're planning on being out here for a fair stretch, and we're excited about how God has already provided, and this is an incredibly practical way you can help us in this next step. We're being strategic in looking for work that we can fit around our church-planting commitments here, and do feel so very blessed to be supported by friends and family back home making our day to day life here possible. Currently the work we have is still limited, and while we're planning, believing for and stepping out to see future Visas, travel fees and even a moto (!) come from our earnings over here, we would like to ask for your support in keeping us right now.

We're learning a heck of a lot, growing and being stretched, but we know there's a lot more for us out here yet. If you'd like to 'Partner with the Parkys' please get in touch, either through facebook, direct message on Twitter, or email me on

Thanks guys, we love and miss you, and are so grateful for each of you in our lives!